Police investigating looting during yesterday's quake evacuations say eight burglaries took place and they have stepped up patrols since then.

Detective Sergeant Damon Wells said police were now working closely with the victims to ensure they were supported and understood where investigations were at.

He said officers would attend each burglary and carry out scene examinations. Some of those visits had already taken place.

Wells said police were following positive lines of inquiry.


"The public can be assured that we will be focused on trying to catch the people responsible, especially when they prey on those in such a vulnerable situation in a time of an emergency."

Police have increased the number of officers carrying out "reassurance patrols" across the affected parts of Christchurch.

Police were also spending time in the communities to ensure residents knew how best to protect themselves from becoming victims of similar offending.

"This has been an incredibly trying time for the people affected and we're doing all we can to provide them with reassurance," Wells said.

"We would encourage the public to join neighbourhood support groups especially the Christchurch Gets Ready, Selwyn Gets Ready and North Canterbury Gets Ready websites, which can provide quick updates to its members by email or text. In addition please note or photograph any suspicious activity and report this to police.

"We recognise the huge impact burglary has on individuals, families and communities. It is a particularly invasive crime and Canterbury police is determined to try and get a positive outcome for the people affected."

Meanwhile, almost $42,000 has been donated to help a Christchurch family whose seaside home was burgled after they evacuated during yesterday's earthquake and tsunami warning.

Melissa and Matt Mill left their Bower Ave home in New Brighton at about 2am yesterday with their two daughters Skyla and Alisha, 12, who has muscular dystrophy.


While the family were hunkering down thieves broke into their home and stole their television, Christmas presents and other items, including Alisha's $5000 hearing system.